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January 2, 2020

Taylor Fritz

John Isner

Austin Krajicek

David MacPherson

Tommy Paul

Rajeev Ram

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Captain, would you please introduce your team.

DAVID MACPHERSON: I'm David Macpherson. And here we have Rajeev Ram, Austin Krajicek, John Isner, Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul.

THE MODERATOR: Open it up for questions.

Q. Welcome back to Perth. John, you're a regular here at the Hopman Cup over the journey. You've won it and lost with Serena one year, so familiar territory. I'm looking forward to a first-stop clash against Casper Ruud.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, definitely. Certainly looking forward to that match. This will be our second ever match against each other. It's going to be personally a tough test for me and for our team. It's going to be a tough test against Norway. Goes without saying that we're probably the favorite on paper but that doesn't mean anything. We're going to get their best shot. But we're certainly going to be prepared and going to be ready. I think practice has been great so far and all of us are liking the conditions and just really enjoying our time in Perth and having a great time with it. So we're going to go out tomorrow and have a lot of fun.

Q. So you're accustomed to the team format but this is different, all male as against male and female, so it's a different dynamic.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, definitely. Playing in Perth, of course, the Hopman Cup was here for a very long time. I'm not a part of our doubles team right now. I'm here to play singles, for the most part. And the Hopman Cup is you play your singles and you also play doubles every single match. So a little bit different in that regard but, of course, all males here. It will be, make for some very good competition.

Q. And where are you at -- you've had your injury concerns over the journey. Where are you at in terms of preparation for this event and for that upcoming summer in the Australian Open.
JOHN ISNER: Well, I think I'm in a pretty good spot. I feel healthy right now. Very glad to feel that way and put in a lot of good work this off-season, I think, to get my body ready for the rigors of this 2020 season. And it's, all of us are, every tennis player enjoys coming down to Australia to start the year and I think we're the lucky ones that get to participate in this great event to kick it off.

Q. David, you're used to coaching John and juggling with the Bryan brothers as well. How are you going to see your role as captain, the on-court coaching, and working with the players individual coaches as well?
DAVID MACPHERSON: Yeah, no, it's new territory for everybody. The situation of having the player box at the change of end, so it will be a chance to work with Taylor and be with him, which will be a first. And so that's always a challenge, I think, when you're the captain or in this situation where you're working with players that you haven't worked with before so you are just trying to do the best job you can to communicate well and get the best out of them. And also Austin and Rajeev, my first opportunity to work with them. So I'm just, obviously, as a captain you're looking forward to it and but understanding that it's sort of a new challenge, something that we haven't done before. So with the new rules and everything, the new event and, yeah, I think we're all excited, me too.

Q. Taylor, you've been involved in a couple of team competitions in the past year. How excited are you to be here in a city of Perth and just competing with friends, really, at this ATP Cup?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I'm really excited to be here, especially in Perth. I always kind of wanted to play the Hopman Cup. I never got the chance, so I was excited when they announced that we were going to be here in Perth. And then, yeah, I'm just really excited to be playing another team event. In the past the team events have brought out the best tennis for me. I think there's just like more on the line and I'm playing for all these guys, it brings like a whole different energy to it for me. So I'm definitely excited to get out there and play and hopefully win.

Q. Rajeev, you had a great year with Joe last year, obviously. How important is it to get off to a good start and with Austin, etcetera, this week and just to sort of build momentum in your doubles game?
RAJEEV RAM: Like these guys have said, I think we're all excited for this event, first and foremost. Austin and have I played together quite a few times. Actually, we won the tournament in 2018, I think, at the end of the year, so we definitely know each other well. Really excited to get off and start our campaign tomorrow. I just think it can be a great springboard for the rest of the season for sure, but this is as important an event as just about anything for all of us.

Q. Tommy, how do you see your role this week and how is it going to help you sort of practicing with John and Taylor and all of the guys to help you in sort of future tournaments as well.
TOMMY PAUL: I mean, I'm just going to try and play my role and keep everybody ready for their matches. And also, it's good to be down in Australia earlier and help me get ready for my tournaments leading up to Australia.

Q. John, a couple of players have sort of questioned the timing of the ATP Cup so soon after the Davis Cup. Do you see that as a problem sort of heading into the summer?
JOHN ISNER: I mean, it's hard for me to say. Might be a better question for some others. I didn't participate in the Davis Cup this year, so for me personally I really think the timing of the ATP Cup is perfect. And I can just speak of the enthusiasm of our team and the other players here in Perth and the other cities. We're all very excited to be a part of this first-ever event. So I think that's the most important thing. The players are behind it. A brand new event, unchartered territory for the ATP to have an event like this. So to be a part of the first-ever edition of it is pretty special. So for the timing for me I like it a lot.

DAVID MACPHERSON: I agree. We don't get as many team events on the ATP tour as we would problem like as Taylor alluded to. You had that special feeling when you're part of a team and you're playing for a country especially. So I think even though they're quite close together, I think that whenever you're playing for a team, and especially for your country, you're fired up. And so our guys are super, it's like Taylor participated in both events and he's raring to go. So I don't think really from the players' perspective it's an issue there at all. They care a lot about both events.

Q. Austin, what do you think the key for you is going to be sort of this week playing with Rajeev or sort of the practice, moving forward as well, not just this tournament week?
AUSTIN KRAJICEK: Sure. Like everyone said, it's an honor to play for your country. We don't get very many opportunities to play on a team, except for maybe college tennis. But like Rajeev said, also, it helps being good friends with everybody on the team and I think that makes it a lot of fun. Rajeev and I have played together a good bit, so there's some chemistry there. But, yeah, I'm just excited to get out there and play in this new tournament and represent the U.S. to the best of my ability.

Q. Tommy, I think Team USA is going to have a lot of fire power, but what else do you think is going to unite or give you your greatest strength sort of this week to win matches and rubbers?
TOMMY PAUL: I'm just hoping I can do good from the dugout, you know. I like the whole set up with the dugout, and I'm hoping to bring a lot of energy from there for all the guys.

Q. David, what do you think the team's greatest strength is really?
DAVID MACPHERSON: Oh, I think that as the guys said, everyone is good mates, we get on well, we have had a great few days here already. I think we have all the bases covered, singles and doubles, we have great energy. So I think that, yeah, no, I think that, no, as all the countries do, I think everyone is very motivated. And but, yeah, we're a nice tight knit group and we're all pulling for each other and we're going to bring some big energy out there for during the matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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